Insurance Checkup: Getting Married

Table for a partyFew life events can bring about the excitement of getting married. Likewise, few events can have as big of an impact on your finances. With proper planning, life insurance can help provide a solid financial foundation for you and your spouse.

How life insurance can help enhance your financial well-being after marriage

The primary purpose of life insurance is to provide for those who are dependent on you in the event of your untimely death. Often, that means your policy will benefit a spouse and children (if any) by paying off debt and setting aside enough for living expenses.

Making the life insurance decision with your spouse

Even if the two of you choose to keep separate bank accounts, it is important to include your spouse when making decisions about life insurance. You both may benefit from more appropriate levels of coverage.

Matters to decide with your spouse

What to consider

Coverage amount

  • How much will the survivor(s) need to maintain their standard of living
  • How much insurance each of you has now and how much more to get

Insurance type

  • Group coverage through employer(s) or individual policies
  • Term protection, permanent, or a combination

Insurance company

  • His, hers or a new company altogether
  • Financial ratings
  • Suitable product offering
  • Cost of insurance (premiums)
  • Ease of doing business with

Beneficiary(ies)

  • Who will be primary: first in line to receive death benefits
  • Who will be contingent: recipient if the primary beneficiary dies before the insured

Payments

  • Who is responsible for paying the premiums
  • Method of payment: check, auto draft, debit/credit card

Steps to consider after getting married if you already have insurance:

  1. Add your spouse as beneficiary.
  2. Make sure you have enough protection, especially if your only coverage is through your employer.
  3. Decide whether it is more cost effective to keep group insurance through your employer(s) or if individual policies make more sense.

Marriage is an exciting life stage. With thoughtful planning, taking care of financial matters like life insurance can bring about pleasant results - now and in the future.

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